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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trboatworks View Post
    Bill I’ve been making backpacking and camping gear all my life.
    I don’t start a project to save money, it’s about putting my ideals into form and enjoyment.
    This is a fairly compelling design challenge to me and I am
    not worried about resale value.
    The value to me is in the build and use.

    As I said above, I can’t buy a trailer like the one I am designing.
    I have a interest in how these habitats are constructed to meet all the varied criteria of use.
    I might not have the time for the project which would be a shame but that is the only limitation.
    Too many projects- sometimes the really enjoyable ones are pushed aside for the really necessary ones..
    This thread was just to find out if a pro built frame might be a realistic shortcut so I can focus on the novel parts of the project.
    Gonna need to firm up some details of this plan if you want to proceed with this conversation (post up some idears/sketchs)
    I posted the trailmanor, no responce from you, more like a Hi-Lo ?
    Or just a tent like pop up ?

    Older pop ups. there were a few "hard sided popups".


    FWIW, why put the camper on top of a frame ?
    The lighter weight "landscaper" trailers have the strength in the side railings.
    That you could incorporate into the walls of the bottom half.

  2. #22
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    Doug thanks.
    I am designing a pop up with fabric top.
    I will post if I can get the model built.

    “FWIW, why put the camper on top of a frame ?”

    A combination of ignorance on how simple trailers are constructed and what I came up with for a simple deck for side walls and interior.

    I am assuming under slung side rails placed at axle springs and light tube deck framing over carried out to outside of tire.
    Framing in side walls will stiffen deck but are outboard of bearing on axles.
    It just seemed simple to assume the heavy tube frame is load/torsion element while deck is just heavy enough for flooring and box loads.
    It’s like I said above- there are a million fabric pop up campers made- however they are framed generally is fine.
    I am just getting started- I need to take a look and see what’s done.
    The travel trailers I have looked at have long under slung frame elements.
    Canvas pop-ups can be light so more monocoque build?
    Last edited by Trboatworks; 07-19-2019 at 09:07 AM.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trboatworks View Post
    Doug thanks.
    I am designing a pop up with fabric top.
    I will post if I can get the model built.

    “FWIW, why put the camper on top of a frame ?”

    A combination of ignorance on how simple trailers are constructed and what I came up with for a simple deck for side walls and interior.

    I am assuming under slung side rails placed at axle springs and light tube deck framing over carried out to outside of tire.
    Framing in side walls will stiffen deck but are outboard of bearing on axles.
    It just seemed simple to assume the heavy tube frame is load/torsion element while deck is just heavy enough for flooring and box loads.
    It’s like I said above- there are a million fabric pop up campers made- however they are framed generally is fine.
    I am just getting started- I need to take a look and see what’s done.
    The travel trailers I have looked at have long under slung frame elements.
    Canvas pop-ups can be light so more monocoque build?
    Thanks for clearing things up.
    1. I would suggest a "landscaper trailer" the lightweight kind where the railing is the frame, as opposed to a frame under (like for hauling cars)
    You should be able to find these in aluminum, they are common, and by working the side railings into your walls, still have a lower height.


    See attached home made trailer I spotted nearby. As you can see, the builder
    used an off the shelf landscaper trailer, however, it appears to be removable.

    2. Torsion axles:
    https://www.northerntool.com/shop/to...9004_200649004

    Timbren are a higher priced option, looks like the extreme off road people
    are using them:
    Axle Less Trailer Suspension | etrailer.com
    CAMPBOX - Expedition Trailers - Casas Rodantes - Camping - Chile
    the bruder EXP-4 is a rugged off-road camper with teardrop amenities

    Either way, if you weld up your own trailer, consider the "axleless" design.

    No axle hanging down, and no axle weight. Remember though, the axle "boxes will want to twist the frame rail, so you counter that force, by placing a cross member (for floor support) right in that location, does double duty,
    less weight, higher ground clearance.

    Following/copying existing "normal" pop up trailers just get's you a cheap trailer.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails gedc0933.jpg  

  4. #24
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    Have you seen these hard sided pop ups ?

    They claim you can do the open/close in the rain, and not get water inside.
    Aliner: The Original A-Frame Camper

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    Another "Homemade looking on a landscaper trailer:
    Terrapin — Casual Turtle Campers

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    I agree with galv over alum. It is just easier to make a strong light weight frame/tongue. Camper frames are built as cheap as they come. I think a firewall in a smart car is stronger.

    Also the lighter the weight, the worse a trailer could handle. You want some type of weight for stability.

    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk

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    Aluminum is fine, particularly I-beam. But don't weld it--bolt it together.

    Here is my aluminum trailer under a 25' Mako.


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    Quote Originally Posted by ezduzit View Post
    Aluminum is fine, particularly I-beam. But don't weld it--bolt it together.

    Here is my aluminum trailer under a 25' Mako.

    That's an awfull funny lookin' camper ya gots there sir....

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    Quote Originally Posted by digger doug View Post
    That's an awfull funny lookin' camper ya gots there sir....
    Just a camper that floats.

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    It has stand-up headroom in the galley and head with shower and a convertible dinette that sleeps 2.

    The aluminum trailer is what the OP should emulate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ezduzit View Post
    It has stand-up headroom in the galley and head with shower and a convertible dinette that sleeps 2.

    The aluminum trailer is what the OP should emulate.
    But that don't float.....

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    Thanks guys on trailer bit’s.

    On boats- I already got a ‘camper that floats’ lol.

    Still no model for the pop-up and ‘real world’ concerns stealing all my time...
    Full disclosure- this happens every year when we get back from camping as it gets more clear with each trip that the tenting deal is coming to a end.

    I did chance to look under my Danzer box trailer.
    As mentioned- 2x3 tube frame around perimeter with very light gauge I-beam welded in cross members. Tongue welded in same plane- no frame under, torsion axles welded direct to frame.


    The wife is (sensibly) looking at new retail, I am chafing at buying when I’ve got this cool design kicking around which meets our needs better in every way.
    I have a year- I wonder how far I could get with this thing parked by the shop getting worked on as time permits.
    I’ll get the model done.

    Promises promises...

    Yes on Aliners- friends have them.
    I am going a different direction.

  14. #33
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    Don't know if I posted one of these before, popped up in an e-mail.
    Mantis - TAXA Outdoors
    Note, sides look to be cnc routed from MDF.
    I like steel studs, metal roofing, and self drillers....

    Also note fabric pop up section is only for head room, looks like you can enter it during
    a rainstorm, and erect it without getting wet.

    Also, that part leads itself to using solid panels instead of fabric (think year round usage)

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  16. #34
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    We did look at the Mantis- nicely done rig but not quite large enough for us. (And wow $$$$...).
    The wife is currently in love with the air Opus..

    OPUS Camper USA | The Revolutionary Folding Camper


    Yep on abs panels- I am noting how the Opus line picture frame the box in aluminum with abs fill.


    I am making progress with some of the mechanism problems with my project.
    I know some really top end canvas guys- it might be the real labor saving is turning over some of the sewing work to them.
    Model forthcoming.. honest lol.

    I feel a bit like a guy we met who owned a nice waterfront property in Maine where we docked during a summer cruise.

    Old property with a barn set on granite ledge right on the water.
    He was building in that barn I kid you not a walking sailboat- his plan was just being able to drop the legs and either set pretty on the tidal flat or walk it up to the shore.
    With a certain age crazy sets in- it’s best perhaps to just humor some folk...

  17. #35
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    The opus is different fur shure.

    I would be concerned as to the air set-up, having punctures.

    Tent poles are standard, and you can make your own camper using off the shelf components.

    As far as the custom swing arm suspension, I would farm that portion out to the aforementioned Timbren.
    Proven, and pretty economical for what you get.
    Also I would go with air bags, so you can tune the suspension.

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    Beauer- wow.

    Doug I think we all share a interest in design.
    I find it fascinating that folk are continually trying to make a better mousetrap here in the camper world.
    “Fit and finish” being the usual distinguishing feature between manufacturers, I am looking for actual change in offerings.

    That tin can is cool.
    Telescoping- ha- neat!
    But that drop down interior- I love it.

    a7bcf5bf-53d5-4124-b074-43cc9fdba024.jpeg

  22. #38
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    I have looked at these for some time, actually went and "laid hands upon" one.
    Scamp Lite Fifth Wheel RV Travel Trailers - 5th Wheel Campers - Deluxe Layout A - Scamp Trailers

    The frame is very small/simple.

    Imagine what you could make with it.

    Tows nicely behind a Tacoma or ford ranger.

    if you put the freshwater tank under the floor in the part over the truck bed, you
    might get away with no water pump needed at all, gravity servicing the sink/toilet/shower head.

    If you go for a "pop up", the area over the bed would probably be no higher than the trucks cab roof.

    I can see one made with roofing tin, and the side walls swing up/out to form
    side area's, have a fold down floor stow in the side wall as well.

    All nesting like a folding card table with legs, riding alongside much like a roll out awning,
    maybe 6" thick at most.

    Watch this for "How Not to do it":
    YouTube

  23. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by digger doug View Post
    Following/copying existing "normal" pop up trailers just get's you a cheap trailer.
    that's a pretty unique trailer - you make that or snap a pic of Ranger Smith's?

  24. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mcgyver View Post
    that's a pretty unique trailer - you make that or snap a pic of Ranger Smith's?
    That is nearby, I was just tooling around on a back road one day.

    Have a pix or linky to "ranger Smiths" ?


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